TO TELL THE TRUTH:
The truth is that parcel owners in the Farms do hold a fee simple title absolute to the parcel originally shown bounded by the roadways of the plat. For nine years the grantor company held as saved, reserved, and retained the title to the roadways. Further until September 26th 1969 the Palm City Drainage District in the name of the company held a right to build drainage ditches across the parcels: this right was released by recorded documents to the underlying parcel owners. When all parcels were sold by January 1 1925 a fee simple underlying title was created by construction of the Smith v Horn Supreme Court decision. The underlying title is encumbered by the public and private rights to an easement that is appurtenant to all the deeds in the Farms. The plat was accepted and this vested the public rights. The private rights were vested by the purchase of the parcels. Once a plat is accepted by public use or government acts of acceptance the underlying title lies dormant until the superior rights of the easement are legally removed. Once the public rights are removed the private rights become vulnerable to adverse possession; another legal process. The roadways shown on plat Book 6 Page 42 bound the parcels with unnamed and unlabeled spaces, the deeds to the parcels sold by parcel number, the grantor saved, reserved, and retained the roadways for nine years until all parcels were sold, then per Smith v Horn the title extended to the center of the roadways subject to the public and private easement. An easement to the grid work of roadways shown on the entire plat. Acceptance of any part constitutes acceptance of all. No revocation of the offer to dedicate has been found. All current transfers are still according to the plat. See the slide diagram below.
An interesting early case, in 1911 legal jargon was a bit different:
There were many claims but these two seemed most appropriate for the point that once accepted a plat is irrevocable and it does not matter what is done with or to the land it endures whether used or not just waiting for a proper use. In those days the developer opened the streets not the county commission. Once accepted by user or acts of the county the public rights can be enforced for the public. Adverse possession is not possible.
6th. Your orator would further show unto your Honor, that the said lines marked and indicated upon said map as said Hill, Line, Bay and Sweetbriar Streets, have never in fact, been dedicated as streets; that said lines indicated as streets have never been accepted by the defendant city of Gainesville, as streets -- that said lines so indicating streets, have never been used by the public or the city of Gainesville, defendant herein, as streets; that the same have always ben owned, used, occupied [***6] enjoyed and possessed [**782] by the owners of the lots of the said Hill & Lassiter Addition, for their own convenience and pleasure.
13th. Your orator would [***12] further show, that the said city of Gainesville, as aforesaid, has never accepted said pretended streets, or recognized the same in any way, either by any official declaration of its municipal body, or by the use of same by the public, and the same are of no interest, or no benefit whatever to the defendant city, or the public, as they simply enter into and extend out of the entire property of your orator.
THE COURT RULING
CITY OF GAINESVILLE V. THOMAS SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA, Division A
61 Fla. 538; 54 So. 780; 1911 Fla. LEXIS 493 January 1911
The complainant can acquire no equity by the expenditure of money in beautifying the premises. Before making the expenditure, it was open to him, as well as the city, to inquire into the title to these streets, and property dedicated for a public highway does not become private property because an individual may from his viewpoint, deem it to the best interest to the public, to so divest it, however laudable the motive may be.
We do not understand that the city threatens to do aught else than to keep open as public streets, property theretofore dedicated for that purpose which is now accepted. It has done no affirmative act, which under any reasonable application of the doctrine of equitable estoppel as applied to a municipality, destroys its positive duty to keep open the thoroughfares which it accepts, to the full enjoyment of the general public.
The complainant seeks the aid of a court of equity to protect him in his encroachment upon a public right, he fails to show in himself title to these "streets" and the demurrer should have been sustained.
IT APPEARS THAT REPLACEMENT OF THE WORD MUNICIPALITY WITH COUNTY OR CITY IS ALLOWED UNDER THE LAW. THIS RULING THOUGH ENHANCED BY LATER CASES HAS NOT BEEN WITHDRAWN OR OVERTURNED.
BERTHA K. SMITH, Plaintiff in Error, v. C. L. HORN, Defendant in Error SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA 70 Fla. 484; 70 So. 435; 1915 Fla. LEXIS 292 December 10, 1915
When Miami Bank, Sterling's predecessor in title, dedicated the platted roads "to the perpetual use of the public for proper purposes," it explicitly reserved to itself any reversionary interest, as against the public. Thereafter, all the lots in the plat were sold; and the deeds described the lots by reference to the plat. Because there was no mention of any reversionary interest in these transactions, the present case falls under the rule stated in Smith v. Horn [**11] , 70 Fla. 484, 70 So. 435, 436 (1915):
Where the owner of land has it surveyed, mapped, and platted, showing subdivisions thereof, with spaces for intervening streets or other highways between the subdivisions clearly indicated upon the map or plat, and conveyances in fee of the subdivisions are made with reference to such map or plat, the owner thereby evinces an intention to dedicate an easement in the streets or other highways to the public use as such, the title to the land under the street remaining in the owner or his grantees; and, where such conveyances are made with reference to the map or plat, the dedication of the easement for street purposes cannot be subsequently revoked as against the grantees, and the title of the grantees of subdivisions abutting on such streets, in the absence of a contrary showing, extends to the center of such highway, subject to the public easement. And, where the highway is lawfully surrendered, the then holder of the title to abutting property and to the center of the street has the property relieved of the public easement.
Many Rulings have Passed By Since: They all deal with extensions or clarifications of the early laws and rulings.
To interpret old plats the laws before Jun 11, 1925 must be understood Number: AGO 78-88 is the Florida Attorney General’s Opinion that says so.